08.11.2018 Author: Martin Berger

Washington’s New Strategy for Syria


At this point it’s hardly worth arguing that the Syrian conflict has entered endgame, as this fact seems pretty obvious at this point. Yet, even after exhausting all of its options the United States chose to double down on its Syrian intervention.

This serves as a clear indication that America’s Syria policy is in dire straits. For months now, Donald Trump would carry on voicing his typical Twitter threats against Damascus and its allies that are determined to put an end to massive terrorist groups operating inside war-ravaged Syria.

Under this backdrop, it’s hardly surprising that the Washington Post would cite an unnamed official in the Trump administration that revealed that the US tried to create quagmires for Moscow and Damascus until it would be able to grab what it has been after all along. To be more specific, this implies that the West will try to get its foot in the door of the ending conflict, ensuring that the Syrian government will not be able to secure its victory. This means Washington will once again rush to save al-Qaeda to keep the war going, which has been a recurring undercurrent in US policy in Syria for years.

The prominent editor of Global Research, Prof Michel Chossudovsky has made it pretty clear in one of his recent articles that Washington has always been adhering to the mantra that “war is good for business,” as it fuels behind-the-scenes deals, arms contracts and resupply orders. It’s safe to say that Tomahawk missile stockpiles won’t replenish themselves on their own.

In 2016, Trump promised an end to “interventions and chaos.” Last March, he would proclaim that “We’re coming out of Syria, like, very soon.” A couple of months later he made a promise to take a swift decision on the status of American military presence in this war-torn state, paying no heed to the fact that this presence was and remains to this very day illegal.

So it would seem logical that there could be no arguing with the National Interest that has bluntly stated that has Assad prevailed in this conflict and now both the CIA and the Pentagon have little choice other than to send their officers packing. On top of pointing the illegality of American involvement in Syria, it would add that nothing in Syria is worth a confrontation between American and Russian forces. This media source acknowledges that America barely dodged a direct confrontation with Russia in Syria before, but chances are it won’t be that lucky if Washington chooses to stay.

Regardless of the above presented facts, the United States is trying to expand its military presence in Syria, as it has recently been revealed by the Turkish Anadolu news agency. As of now, there’s well over 2,200 American servicemen operating in Syria. The better part of those men was deployed to the eastern regions of the Syrian Arab Republic. Additionally, more than a hundred US marines was dispatched to the At-Tanf base in southeastern Syria last September. The US military is also creating new control centers and FOB that are being manned by the so-called Kurdish self-defense units. Over the last fifteen months the United States has managed to establish more than five bases in Syria, two of which can be found in Manbij in the northeastern part of the Aleppo Governorate. Two more were built in the Tell Abyad district of the Raqqa Governorate . Additionally, the Pentagon has recently completed the construction of a military base in the Deir ez-Zor Governorate, where the better part of Syria’s oil and gas fields are located. Finally, the last known base can be located in the vicinity of Saban oil field in the southeastern part of the same governorate.

Back in September, Washington chose to hold joint exercises of the US Marine Corps and the so-called “rebels” from the group of Jaish Magavir al-Taurus at the At-Tanf military base.

To make matters worse, the Trump administration is finding an ever increasing number of pretexts to mount new attacks against the Syrian armed forces. Previously, we would hear fairy-tales about the alleged use of chemical weapons by Damascus. Now the US is threatening to launch strikes on the defenders of the Syrian people to prevent the campaign aimed at the liberation of Idlib from terrorists that happen to be Washington’s allies. As it’s been pointed out by Paul Craig Roberts the United States is fighting Russia in Syria, not terrorists.

According to Stratfor, the United States is now going after the full withdrawal of Iranian forces from Syria and a transition from the current government in Damascus to one more acceptable to Washington. At various points during the Syrian conflict the White House has vacillated between two policies: one of actively working against the Syrian government and one of focusing strictly on the defeat of violent extremist groups. This latest shift, however, will firmly dash any prospect of significant cooperation with Russia in the Middle East.

But, in spite of all the attempts made by Washington to use military power in Syria to obtain a seat at the negotiation table, where the future of the political settlement will be determined, all of these attempts have been falling flat. The US has no means of securing its goals, and this has been pointed out by a handful of American political figures. For example, US secretary of homeland security, Kirsten Nielsen has recently described the current state of American geopolitics as utter instability and chaos.

However, the Middle East is not the only region that is slipping from America’s deadly grip. Similar processes can be observed all over the world, which is illustrated by China’s open declaration of intent to invest more than 60 billion dollars in Africa.

So, when the National Interest states that Assad has won and America must go, it seems there’s no point in arguing.

Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.” 

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